Users whose data was exposed as a result of a major data breach are being encouraged to file a lawsuit against Facebook.
A total of 530 million people’s personal details was exposed, including phone numbers in some situations.
On behalf of EU people, a data rights campaign is planning to file a lawsuit in Irish courts.
Facebook disputes any misconduct, claiming that the information was “scraped” from freely accessible data on the web.
Digital Rights Ireland (DRI) director Antoin Lachtnain cautioned other tech companies that the decision might set off a chain reaction.
“This will be the first of its kind,” he said, “but we’re confident it won’t be the last.”
“The extent of this hack, as well as the breadth of personal data exposed, is mind-boggling.”
He continued, “The laws are there to protect consumers and their personal data and it’s time these technology giants wake up to the reality that protection of personal data must be taken seriously.”
DRI asserts Facebook refused to safeguard user information and warn those who were affected.
Although the data breach was found and patched in 2019, it was only recently made freely available online.
Individual users that participate in the court action could be given up to €12,000 (£10,445) in reimbursement if it is effective, according to DRI, based on comparable proceedings in other countries.
- causal sequence
The Irish Data Protection Commission reported on Thursday that it would investigate the data breach.
It will look at whether Facebook violated some aspects of the GDPR or the Data Protection Act of 2018.
Was found in violation, the social media behemoth could face penalties of up to 4% of its annual revenue.
A Facebook spokesperson responded to DRI’s legal case by saying: “We understand people’s concerns, which is why we continue to strengthen our systems to make scraping from Facebook without our permission more difficult and go after the people behind it.”
He also mentioned other companies that have been embroiled in recent data breaches.
“As LinkedIn and Clubhouse have shown, no company can completely eliminate scraping or prevent data sets like these from appearing. That’s why we devote substantial resources to combat it and will continue to build out our capabilities to help stay ahead of this challenge,” he said.